Businesswoman, Singer and Palm Beach Wine Auction Legacy Supporter
As a legacy supporter for the Palm Beach Wine Auction since its inception, Jill Wachter knows the ins and outs of how the event functions and what makes it truly tick. As a medical device entrepreneur with her heart in singing and the arts, Wachter brings invaluable skill and passion to the team.
Wachter’s involvement started early, after she and her husband, Bill, heard Founder and Chairman Ted Mandes speak during the very first event.
“Ted’s speech that evening, where he described walking down the street in Philadelphia to attend his music lesson with his violin in hand, resonated with me,” explains Wachter. “As he spoke I recalled my own childhood, one that was filled with music and voice lessons as well as attendance of, and participation in, music and arts performances. These opportunities I had as a child were a beautiful part of my life, holding value as creative outlets and by learning the importance of disciplined practice.”
Being new to the Palm Beach area at the time, Wachter yearned to become involved in the community’s charitable endeavors – and with the Wine Auction, she had finally found one that connected with her on a personal level.
“The Palm Beach Wine Auction’s dedication to enhancing children’s lives through arts education was something to which I could commit myself with heartfelt sincerity,” she says.
This year, Jill and Bill Wachter will again be sponsoring the Sponsors’ Vintners Dinner at Café Boulud, a special evening that previews the Auction itself and sets the stage for the celebration to come.
“The Vintners Dinner is a lovely extension of the auction evening,” says Wachter. “It is a preview that takes place in a more intimate setting for the vintners, sponsors and partners who join together to make the Palm Beach Wine Auction a reality and resounding success each year.”
Rudd Oakville Estate
Oscar Henquet was introduced to the world of luxury hospitality at a young age. One could even say he was born into it. Working with his family’s hotel in the Netherlands and traveling Provençal vineyards during his summers fostered within him a unique appreciation for hospitality, cooking and wine.
After graduating with a degree in Hotel Management from the Maastricht School, Henquet took on various endeavors at esteemed properties across the globe before ultimately settling in New York City. It was there that he truly came into his own, learning from his experience as Maître d’Étage Team Leader and Private Butler to Sir Elton John at the Five-Star/Five-Diamond St. Regis New York. After running and opening a number of his own highly acclaimed restaurants, Henquet eventually joined the Rudd Oakville Estate team, where he utilizes his passion, expertise and experience to oversee operations as Managing Director.
“As stewards of exceptional land since 1996, the Rudd family seeks to craft wines that reflect the ultimate expression of our world-class Oakville terroir — respecting the traditions of the past, challenging the present, and imagining future possibilities,” says Henquet. “Our team members work together in the relentless and uncompromising pursuit of a shared singular goal: to achieve the absolute pinnacle of our land’s potential. Rudd Oakville Estate’s discerning customers appreciate our craftsmanship, and the meaningful connections we forge with them enhance both their lives and ours,” says Henquet about his team.
Henquet sees these values reflected in the Auction’s Founder and Chairman, Ted Mandes, and credits this shared passion for keeping him and his team involved in the Palm Beach Wine Auction since its inception.
“Terroir is our driving force and so it is for Ted,” says Henquet. “It was only a natural fit to support the Auction and we are proud to have been able to team up with Ted.”
The Auction’s charitable cause is one that’s important to the Rudd Oakville Estate team as well. Henquet explains, “Education is a cause that is very dear to our hearts. As we create scholarships for Master Sommeliers in training, we believe education is key to future advancements of our industry and society. Every person and child should have access to education in the field he/she is interested in. Arts and education have expanded my horizons tremendously and made me understand and appreciate the truly important, beautiful things in life.”
President and CEO
Born in Venezuela and educated in the United States, Margareth Henriquez has a passion for people, culture and, of course, the world of exceptional wine. Formerly the President of Moët Hennessy Argentina, Henriquez has been at the head of Krug since 2009, and has guided the prestigious champagne house into newfound areas of success and celebration – one of which is the Palm Beach Wine Auction.
Krug and Henriquez have been involved with the Auction almost since its inception, and there’s a reason she continues to bring back her visionary spirit year after year.
“Since the beginning I was impressed by the way the Auction was organized – the party, the details, the offer… I have never seen an auction giving so much to the participants, so much attention to detail,” says Henriquez.
It’s this attention to detail and engagement that allows participants to express themselves without limits. “The Palm Beach Wine Auction is the perfect frame for Krug. It delivers the perfect service, the perfect pairings, the perfect glasses, the perfect presence, so I was and still am seduced by the treatment that Krug receives, and when you receive you want to give and the perfect dance happens,” Henriquez explains. “In addition to all this, we love, love, love the cause, which is so Krug. I can only say that I am very happy to be involved.”
The Palm Beach Wine Auction’s commitment to children’s arts education at the Kravis Center is one that’s dear to Henriquez.
“Arts allow for the growth of the soul, nothing is more important than a solid soul in organizations, societies or countries,” she says. “Arts facilitate the development of the right side brain, which is extraordinary, especially in societies that favor so much the development of the left side brain. This means the arts are a critical contributor to balance in our societies and balance is a source of peace and happiness.”
Henriquez’s appreciation for the arts is reflected in how Krug operates – from its community involvement to the champagne itself. “Krug is musical. Music is a great analogy to understand the composition of our champagnes. It speaks to the heart and connects directly to our emotions. At its best it is an experience of pure pleasure, much like the pleasure of drinking Krug Champagnes. Music can enhance a moment and make its memory last a lifetime, as Krug can do.”
General Manager and Assistant Winemaker
Vineyard 7&8 is one of the newest sponsors of the Palm Beach Wine Auction, but it is already having a significant impact on the future of the Auction with their exciting presence and support. Founded in 1999 on a highly sought-after vineyard property in Napa Valley, Vineyard 7&8 reflects the uncompromising pursuit and vision towards producing premium, handcrafted wines highlighting a sense of place within the Spring Mountain District through experience, passion and humility.
This journey has naturally led Vineyard 7&8 to the Palm Beach Wine Auction, where the winery’s owners and managers are pleased to team up with Founder and Chairman Ted Mandes in order to make the event a huge success.
“Ted’s passion makes you want to be involved,” says Wes Steffens, Vineyard 7&8’s General Manager and Assistant Winemaker and the son of winery founders Launny and Weezie Steffens. “The caliber of chefs and wineries that participate is nothing short of phenomenal and we knew from the start that we would want to be involved in some way.”
Steffens is thrilled to bring the best of its modest, yet exceptional, library of wines to this year’s Palm Beach Wine Auction. Steffens’ says his enthusiasm is multiplied tenfold by the event’s cause.
“What keeps us coming back is knowing that through our participation and donation we are doing our part in keeping paddles high and raising money and awareness for the Kravis Center,” explains Steffens. “We are continuously impressed with the number of children they are helping and the remarkable programs they offer. Many of us here at the winery are parents and we believe in the power that arts education can bring to a child’s life.”